Smokies fills two leadership roles
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently filled two key leadership positions — Randy Scoggins has been hired as the new chief ranger overseeing the Visitor and Resource Protection Division, and Stephanie Kyriazis will serve as the new chief of resource education.
As Chief Ranger, Scoggins, who most recently served as chief ranger at Buffalo National River, will lead personnel responsible for law enforcement, wildland fire, emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, backcountry operations, and the emergency communications center.
Scoggins’ hire marks a return to the Smokies, where he began his career as a seasonal law enforcement ranger in the summer of 1992. Since then, his career has taken him to national park units across the country, including Big South Fork National River, Padre Island National Seashore, Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Western Kentucky University with a major in geology and minor in parks and recreation management, as well as several certifications in wildland and structural firefighting. He is a certified Emergency Medical Technician.
“I can’t wait to return to the park where my National Park Service career began,” said Chief Ranger Scoggins. “I’m looking forward to working with old friends and colleagues, and meeting new ones, while we work together to protect these sacred mountains.”
Kyriazis has served as deputy chief of resource education since July 2020 and will now shed the “deputy” portion of her title after demonstrating “incredible leadership and forward thinking,” according to a park press release. Prior to arriving in the Smokies, Kyriazis served as the Chief of Interpretation, Education and Visitor Services at Marsh-Billing-Rockefeller National Historical Park and Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, as well as serving as the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park.
“Stephanie is known for building successful collaborations internally, locally, regionally and nationally,” says Acting Deputy Superintendent Lisa McInnis. “Her fervent dedication to diversity and inclusion make her the perfect choice in leading the Resource Education division.”